Research Papers

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Asian Americans on the Sunday Shows

What They Talk About When They Talk About Us

This report suggests a troubling problem in U.S. political news media: that Asian Americans, the fastest-growing racial group in the United States, are essentially absent in coverage of issues that are relevant to them. Over six months and 130 episodes of programming on the Big Five Sunday shows, Asian Americans were mentioned twice, not counting 11 incidental references to them as part of a broader listing of racial groups. Read more »

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The Importance of Asian Americans? It’s Not What You think.

Future Directions in the Racial Justice Movement

Several informants said that many Asian Americans embraced “honorary whiteness” and, therefore, any kind of Asian American organizing must be anti-racist. If that’s true, then what does it look like to assert Asian American-ness authentically, expansively, and progressively? It should come as no surprise that this work is already happening. After all, no amount of model minority framing can erase the fact that “Asian American” began as a political identity. The historical basis for being Asian American is twofold — a rejection of labels like “Oriental”, “gook”, “Jap”, etc., and their roots in war and imperialism, and a fundamental commitment to interracial solidarity. In reality, there were no Asian Americans before the Civil Rights, Black Power and antiwar movements. And those of us who dedicate our lives to combating white supremacy today are authentically Asian American. Read more »

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Left or Right of the Color Line: Asian Americans and the Racial Justice Movement

In order to better understand the racial position of Asian Americans, and how Asian American identity functions in the realm of racial politics, ChangeLab conducted in-depth, confidential interviews with 82 Asian American organizers, leaders, intellectuals, and artists working in the racial justice field throughout the United States. We also talked to five non-Asian American racial justice leaders doing promising work that cuts across all communities of color. Our informants represent some of the strongest, most influential racial justice efforts taking place across the country today, including some of the most prominent Asian American organizations. We asked a series of questions about Asian American racial identity, Asian American attitudes toward other people of color, approaches to racial justice work, and gaps and challenges in the field. Read more »